Senegal: Health App BISA launched

His signature signed the deal – and Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr, Secretary of Health pledged his support for the Health App BISA. The App is expected to close gaps in medical care for the Sengalese population across the country.

The Secretary of Health gave a speech during a festive ceremony attended by both senior project members and sponsors – and by representatives from the health sector. Secretary Sarr praised the positive impact will have on the population. The App comes at the right time to reduce imbalances in the access to health care.

BISA is a useful tool to simultaneously address several problems in the country. Especially in rural Senegal, the health care network is spotty and access to medical care far from ubiquitous. To reach medical aid post, many patients are forced to cover significant distances.
The scarcity of doctors and medical professionals causes long waiting times and delays until needed medical attention can be provided. In addition, many patients feel that they cannot afford medical care and refrain from seeking medical attention altogether.

BISA provides easy access to medical support for those in need of it via mobile phone. BISA provides an opportunity for patients that have no other means to contact a doctor or medical personnel to receive a professional opinion concerning their ailment.

It allows the sick to communicate via chat, pictures or voice mail with a doctor, who in turn will be able to provide an initial diagnosis and a recommendation for treatment. If the sickness does not pose a serious threat, such as rashes and some forms of diarrhea, it sometimes can be treated with household remedies. A harmful treatment with cheap but potentially dangerous and ineffective medication can be avoided.
Of particular importance is the opportunity to discuss and address sexual issues and sexually transmittable diseases – topics that otherwise are difficult to talk and to get information about. Without a doubt, the app contributes to sex education and the spreading of sexually transmittable diseases. Young women in particular find it difficult to talk openly about sensitive subjects and delay seeking medical attention. Clearly, the app is a cost-efficient mechanism to close gaps in the health care system.